Rodney Roe's Blog (316)

Jeez, Now I Have to Worry About Thematic Meta-analysis

The problem with intellectual curiosity is that it leads you to worry about things that you did not previously know existed.  This would not be a problem were it not for the fact that you usually have no control over these problems.  It’s better to know about issues over which you have some control.

Today, my wife sent me a link to a warning on Facebook that many teas contained unacceptably high levels of pesticides.  It went on to say that the pesticides mentioned could predispose…


Added by Rodney Roe on March 25, 2017 at 11:47am — 3 Comments

Parsing Reality

A continual barrage of news and commentary about politics – particularly today’s politics – can be exhausting.  Personally, I have cut my viewing of the news considerably, probably watching only 30 minutes a day.  This has been a good thing.  In the run-up to the 2016 election I was listening to or watching the news several hours a day.



Added by Rodney Roe on March 20, 2017 at 2:24am — 11 Comments

Pre-Columbian Pots and Spanish Redskins

A Dubious History

Peanuts, Goober Peas, whatever they are called, have been a staple food for a long time.  There are no fossil records of peanuts (peanuts don’t have bones or teeth), but there is ceramic evidence of peanuts as either decoration or…


Added by Rodney Roe on March 17, 2017 at 7:00am — 13 Comments

Chrome Update and the Spy Who Came in Through the Microwave

Illustration of Integer Overflow

I can remember asking what a search engine was in my early days using computers.  A friend explained the concept and said, “There are several out there.  Google is a good one.”  So, I went with Google.  Who could have guessed how big Google would become or how…


Added by Rodney Roe on March 15, 2017 at 4:04am — 14 Comments

The Enigma of Creativity

The Enigma of Creativity

I’ve been told that I’m creative and intuitive.  I never know how to respond to that, thinking, “Compared to whom?”

What does it mean to…


Added by Rodney Roe on March 13, 2017 at 10:27am — 30 Comments

Big Legged Crows and other Unexpected Things

I’m hoping to make some five inch clay tiles to replace a couple that cracked that were part of a large multimedia, multi-artist piece that I participated in about 10 years ago.  Clay sometimes cracks due to internal stresses that aren’t externally visible.  I have a couple of raku pieces that I made maybe 15 years ago that cracked years later.  I liked them too much to sell them, and I’m glad now that I didn’t.

For a decade, dating from the time of my vision loss, I’ve struggled with…


Added by Rodney Roe on March 9, 2017 at 10:25pm — 20 Comments

How Right Wing Populism Beat Left Wing Populism


There is a distinct disdain among leaders in society, whether business, academic, or legislative for populism.  Populist movements typically exist to protect one group at the expense of others.  They are often unconcerned with protecting the aims of business, and appeal to the common man during times of economic distress.  Movements are often illogical, based on emotion, thus earning the distrust of intellectuals, and they are unpredictable.  If there is anything politicians…


Added by Rodney Roe on March 8, 2017 at 8:00am — 3 Comments

Bold in the Mouth, With Notes of

A 1955 advertisement for Mogen David Wine

As someone who remembers when the only wine made from U.S. grown grapes were New York Wines – generally regarded then as inferior to French Wines – to the emergence of California wines as valid alternatives to French wine, I have been amused by the marketing strategies used by American…


Added by Rodney Roe on March 6, 2017 at 4:12am — 22 Comments

I Might As Well Be In Uzbekistan

I was looking out of the kitchen window this morning as I washed a couple of glasses reflecting on how different the process is in one’s home as compared to a restaurant or bar, wondering how the neighbors wash their glasses.

We live at the end of a short street and after eight years are not friends with any of the neighbors by mutual agreement.  With the possible exception of the Hispanic family at the other end who might have voted Democrat, I’m sure the rest of the street voted…


Added by Rodney Roe on February 26, 2017 at 3:45pm — 11 Comments

To Be Remembered Fondly May Be All That We Can Ask

Hospice came and said, “She’s in transition.”

And she was, she slipped away today.

Such a lovely way to say, “She’s dying;”

The Final Journey rather than The End.


A week ago today we sat together,

Talking of the past and her short future,

It wasn’t resignation. She seemed at peace,

Remembering fondly a life well lived.


She was French, Catholic, and from Vermont.

She was the the older sister that became the…


Added by Rodney Roe on February 24, 2017 at 9:30am — 13 Comments

How Cozy Is the Astronomical Neighborhood


Hubbel telescope finds galaxy from the time of the Big Bang

I have no idea how to interpret this.  I just thought it looked cool.

I read this morning that astronomers have discovered a nearby star with seven earth sized planets circling the dwarf star.  At 40 light years…


Added by Rodney Roe on February 22, 2017 at 9:26pm — 11 Comments

Lost in the Homeland

Sebastian Junger recently wrote a book, Tribe-On Homecoming and Belonging.  It has been reviewed by the New York Times, and a very brief synopsis is this; veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have had a difficult time reentering American society.  Why?  Why do half…


Added by Rodney Roe on February 21, 2017 at 3:30am — 10 Comments

The Cult of Donald


Sometime in the early 1990s a young woman sped around me, cutting me off from the turn I wanted to make, and flipped me the bird in her rear view mirror.  She had a WWJD bumper sticker.

During the same time period I went to the restroom in a vegetarian restaurant in Asheville, NC – a city known for the fact that…


Added by Rodney Roe on February 20, 2017 at 2:32am — 24 Comments

Finding the Bottom

Bar Scene Star Wars

We went out last evening with an old friend.  Like most people she has good and bad parts.  She even has an alternative personality that we call “Vivian”.  Vivian is not a nice person. Vivian usually appears when our friend is in her cups, which lately has been often.



Added by Rodney Roe on February 18, 2017 at 7:04am — 20 Comments

All of Our Influences

This post is apolitical, serves no practical purpose, and can safely be ignored.  It is about the influences of place and time on who we are, how we speak, our likes and our dislikes.

My father was very good at associating accents with places.  Linguists can apparently locate the place of your formative years to within fifty miles.  I don’t think Dad was that good, but he had an ear and he was in the Army with men from all over the United States, spent some time in England…


Added by Rodney Roe on February 10, 2017 at 11:41am — 27 Comments

The Fourth – Not So Real – Estate

Estate is a confusing term.  Used alone it means either a large tract of property with a manor owned by someone of wealth, or all of the wealth of an individual at death.  Those are simple enough concepts, but when used preceded by an ordinal number the word, it turns out, depends on time and place.

In the Ancien Regime or old order of France there were three, Clergy, (first estate), nobility (second estate) and commoners (third estate).  This order continued until the…


Added by Rodney Roe on February 9, 2017 at 7:00am — 14 Comments

Genocide, Common Themes



"We have been afflicted by continued and not unfrequent (sic) reports of the wanton destruction of homes and the bloody butchery of men, women and children made martyrs to their profession of Christian…


Added by Rodney Roe on February 6, 2017 at 6:30pm — 9 Comments

Unspeakable Things

It’s gone.  After spending the  morning writing a piece based on a quote from Sue Monk Kidd and recent conversations here, I somehow deleted my entire piece with the exception of the quote.  The article went something like this…

We didn’t start in a very good place in America.  I’m not talking about the fact that we lived in drafty houses heated with wood or coal, bathed infrequently, and had to use a lot of cologne to cover that up.  The rest of the world, civilized and…


Added by Rodney Roe on February 4, 2017 at 10:30am — 14 Comments

Mathematics and Beauty

One Sunday morning, following the visiting speaker’s sermon that dealt in some way with the beautiful, the service leader asked members of the congregation to put forth the things they found beautiful.  Finally, a retired professor of physics stood and asked whether anyone found mathematics beautiful.  No one admitted to it.

As someone who finds beauty in a lot of different things - music, art, nature – I was made to ask myself whether I had ever found beauty in any mathematical…


Added by Rodney Roe on January 30, 2017 at 8:30am — 13 Comments

The Use of Strategies and Tactics in Defeating Trump and the Alt Right

As those who did not support Mr. Trump for President attempt to deal with a new reality and plan ways to regain congress and the White House, it is time to look at what went wrong in the last election and how we might act differently in 2018 and 2020.  For those who do not have a military background it’s useful, perhaps, to look at the use of…


Added by Rodney Roe on January 28, 2017 at 3:30am — 22 Comments

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